Advanced Strategy and Tactics
These advanced tactics combine multiple basic game systems to create powerful tools for an experienced player. They all require precise timing and may be too subtle for a newer player to notice should they be used at random. When used properly, the all of these advanced techniques can be game breaking in a high level match.
Push Block Guard Cancel
A properly timed push block during a sequence of attacks results in a Push Block Guard Cancel, which reduces overall block stun and leaves the defending character in position for a reversal. Additional hits against a character in a push block animation end the push back effect and only give 50% of their normal block stun as long as the defending character has gone through the minimum 25f of push block. The block stun of the additional attacks will hold the defending character in their last frame of a push block animation. The animation will end after the character recovers to a normal state, where the defending player can then release the blocking direction and perform another action faster than with a standard block.
As an example, a Push Block Guard Cancel can counter something as basic as a simple s.LP > s.MP > s.HP block string. The defending character must carefully push block early in the LP's block stun. As long as the push back effect does not take the attacking character out of range, the MP will land against the defending character's push block animation and end the push effect. As the s.MP hits, the defending character is still in the minimum 25f of push block. By the time s.HP hits, defending character has been in the animation longer than 25f and the s.HP will get cut to 50% of it's normal length. The defending character will recover from the last hit faster than by holding a normal block, closer to the opponent than with a haphazard push block, and free to punish while the attacking character is still in the recovery frames of the slow s.HP.
A PBGC tutorial by worldjem7
During push block, the defending player can give their character a brief period of Absolute Guard. During either a high or low push block animation, switching to the other block direction allows the character to block any high or low as long as the push block animation lasts. This is similar to extended Unblockable Protection, but it does not require a high or low initial hit. The Training Room's hit box option can show Absolute Guard as the defending character's hurt box holds a purple color, similar to blocking in the air.
An Absolute Guard tutorial by worldjem7:
Dead Body Combos
In certain situations, an attacking character will KO an enemy point character in a combo and still be in position to continue the combo on the lifeless corpse. In addition to adding insult to injury, a Dead Body Combo prevents the next character on the enemy team from taking point for its duration. If IPS triggers from this combo, the helpless character becomes invulnerable and falls to the ground. If the body touches the ground for any reason, it will fade into the background as usual and the combo will end. Hitting a dead corpse gives full Dramatic Tension to the defending team and nothing to the attacking team. Despite the disadvantages, players that can pull off a Dead Body Combo can use tactic to carry the body to a corner. This creates a significant positional advantage over the opponent's next character as it enters from the side of the screen.
If a character interrupts a dash or run with any other action, the character will preserve momentum from the dash. Interrupting a dash with a jump will send a character much farther than jumping from neutral. With a normal jump and a super jump from either a dash or neutral, a skilled player can give an otherwise simple up forward (↗) direction jump 4 distinct trajectories. Careful use of a Momentum Jump can send a character above a projectile and across the screen in a single leap or slightly change a jump arc to land an ambiguous cross up attack. Exact timing and range for this technique varies between different characters with different dash properties, but becomes particularly useful for characters without an air dash.
An Ensemble character will not fly off screen like a point character when hit by an Outtake, only travel to the edge of the screen and leave after falling to the ground. If a point character and an Ensemble get hit by the same Outtake at the same time and are within 2/3 screen distance to the corner, the point character will get forced off the screen and leave the Ensemble character behind. A new character cannot take the point until all other teammates are off screen. Trapping the Ensemble character turns an Outtake into a devastating Double Take, where the enemy point character can continue to combo the helpless Ensemble as long as it never hits the ground. IPS does not protect Ensembles. A Double Take often results in a highly repetitive combo, monosyllabic shouting from any spectators, a dead character, and the unfortunate defending player picking up the pieces of a broken team.
While the Ensemble character is trapped on screen after a Double Take:
- The recently Outtaked point character regenerates health at a higher than normal rate.
- The defending team slowly auto-generates additional meter.
- All other meter gain is disabled during the Double Take.
- The timer stops until the helpless Ensemble character is killed or leaves the screen after touching the ground.
A Double Take exhibition by Duckator: